plain packs will mean 30,000 jobs lost in small shops
MAJOR new research on plain packaging claims the measure would decimate convenience retailing in the UK and cost British taxpayers billions of pounds.
The latest findings, published on the Wired. gov website earlier this month, claims the measure could put thousands of small shops out of business and lead to the loss of up to 30,000 jobs in the sector.
A separate bombshell report, published last month by the Centre for Economics and Business Research think-tank, estimates the total cost to the British taxpayer could stand at a massive £5bn.
It claims this amount would be awarded to tobacco companies in recognition of the fact that the Government had destroyed their brand equity.
The Wired.gov report says there would be Increased insolvency rates in convenience retailing with the immediate loss of between 2,000 and 3,500 jobs in small independent retailers.
It adds: “This is the effect solely of the reductions in the gross earnings of small independent retailers from tobacco of between £12 and £20 million.”
However, the report also estimates there would up to 30,000 overall job losses in convenience retailing “when the impact on non-tobacco sales is also taken into account, based on an estimated reduction in small independent retailers’ overall gross earnings of up to £300 million.”
The findings of the report suggests that plain packs would lead to lower prices for legal tobacco, increased illicit trade and a shift by customers from convenience retailers to larger retailers as a result of increased transaction times and longer queues.
Douglas Williams, Chief Executive of the think tank, predicts that a plain pack policy would lead to cheaper prices as smokers became less aware of costlier brands and new entrants were spared the expense of marketing.
A consultation on oplans to bring in plain packs for cigarettes and tobacco ended in August.
The Department of Health is still examining the information generated.
In December, Australia became the first country to put all tobacco products in packs of the same colour with only the brand name and graphic warnings visible.